Tahlequah Public Schools was recently awarded the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant, which is federally funded. This grant is funded for the next 3 years, and provides a total of 1.6 million during this time. Our focus in this grant is healthy eating, physical activity, responsibility and training. We will focus specifically on increasing the number of students who consume fruit and vegetables regularly, increasing the percentage of students who achieve age-appropriate cardiovascular fitness levels and increasing the number of students who demonstrate significant progress in meeting grade-specific Oklahoma Academic Standards in physical education. We will also work to increase the number of students who engage in 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Our focus will be to increase physical activity before, during and after school. Some schools may develop running/walking clubs, some may develop bicycle riding clubs or other outdoor adventures to increase physical activity.
This grant will provide elementary, middle and high school physical education teachers an opportunity to choose a new physical education curriculum, as well as a new nutrition curriculum. Additionally, new equipment will be chosen, if needed to implement and teach the new curriculum. Physical education teachers will be trained in the new curriculum and training will be provided for classroom teachers in ways they can support health and nutrition on a daily basis.
We are excited to implement this grant and the possibilities it brings to our overall educational programs as well as the opportunities for our students and families. During this grant we will work with parents to help them create healthy habits and activities outside the school day. Realizing childhood obesity is a concern, not just in Oklahoma but nation-wide the potential for prevention, with these grant funds brings a new excitement to our environment.
Tahlequah continually seeks additional funding from outside sources to enhance our work and student learning. This physical educational grant was written during the summer of 2016. During this time we also submitted a large federal grant for our literacy program district wide. Our scores for the literacy grant were not high enough to gain funding. Oftentimes, we submit grants several times before they are funded. In fact, we have been seeking this particular physical education grant for many years, but the award eluded us until this year. Likewise, we have written literacy grants several times over the past few years but have not received funding. Seeking additional or outside funding such as the 21st Century Grant that we applied for but didn’t receive, we are always on the watch for grants and monies that will enhance our programs and increase student learning and teacher knowledge.